Who Are Lithromantics? A Deep Dive Into Emerging Identities
Sexual attraction can be an enigma even to those who experience it. Why do we find certain people or activities sexier than others?
Understanding these sexual proclivities could be vital to unlocking a happier, more fulfilling sex life. But since society has mainly put us into boxes throughout history, it hasn't always been easy to see the forest for the horny trees.
Fortunately, terms are getting more nuanced thanks to society’s increased focus on the diversity of individual experiences. Many people are finally finding a place on the spectrum of sexuality they can relate to.
A good example is the rising awareness of lithromanticism. Although it isn’t as well known as aromanticism, lithromantics have always existed as a sexual identity.
Curious to learn more about this sexuality? Let's take a deep dive into what constitutes a lithromantic and how to know whether you or someone you know falls into this category.
So, what is a lithromantic?
A lithromantic person feels romantic love toward others but doesn't want those feelings reciprocated. It’s distinct from aromanticism because there's still some interest in developing romantic feelings despite it being one-sided.
Lithromantics might pine after individuals without intending to see those feelings come to fruition. Some might even enjoy the idea of loving their person from afar, and the romantic feelings could dissipate if the object of their affection likes them back. Even though they're interested in this person, the last thing they want from them is a committed relationship.
Like all identities, there's still so much room for variance in lithromanticism, even within the specifics. Although someone might identify as aromantic or lithromantic, they don't necessarily need to show all of the hallmark tendencies you'd expect.
It's also important to mention that you can be gay, straight, bi, or any other sexual or gender identity and still consider yourself lithromantic. Aromantics and lithromantics march under the LGBTQ banner, but it's more of a subgrouping that can express itself in many gender or sexual expressions.
There's also a lithromantic flag for those who prefer to associate themselves with this romantic orientation and show their pride. The colors are yellow, red, and orange hues, but other flag variations feature a combination of green, gray, and white.
Self-identifiers are meant to help us better understand ourselves; they aren't there for others to question or argue with. Since the meaning of lithromantic is relatively new to most people and already an off-shoot of another familiar romantic archetype, there will likely be evolution and nuance within this group.
Is being lithromantic the same as being aromantic?
Lithromantics still experience romantic feelings for another person, whereas aromantics generally don't and can often be turned off by the idea of romance altogether.
However, aromantic is often used as the umbrella term for lithromantics. Some people may desire to differentiate themselves, but enough similarities exist that many group them together.
Aromantics generally don't want to be in relationships, which is also a hallmark of lithromantics. But anyone who identifies as aromantic can still be in a relationship, with many feeling a strong platonic bond to their closest friend.
10 traits of a lithromantic
Could you or someone you know be a lithromantic? Here are 10 traits commonly associated with lithromanticism:
1. You have a general aversion to romance
You don't have to be outright repulsed by romantic connections to be aromantic or lithromantic. But there's often some distaste or disinterest whenever you think about a meet-cute or a romantic gesture.
Even if it isn't happening directly to them, lithromantics might still have a hard time watching rom-coms or romantic moments on TV simply because it skeeves them out so much.
2. You keep your crush a secret
This trait is specific to lithromantics, since aromantics often don't develop crushes at all. A lithromantic might be interested in someone romantically but never tell them.
Why? Because then their crush can never reciprocate. It's perfect: The lithromantic gets their needs met by gushing over someone in their life without ever worrying a relationship will blossom because of it. Not everyone's idea of ideal, but for the lithromantic, this is what contentment looks like.
3. You fall for unavailable people
There are many different reasons people fall for unavailable people. But if you identify with many traits on this list and are always attracted to what you can't have, you might be lithromantic.
Unavailable people typically can't or won't reciprocate romantic feelings or gestures. This enables the lithromantic person to continue their desire without worrying about it developing.
4. You're not big into intimacy
This trait doesn't necessarily refer to sexual intimacy. You can be lithromantic and still have a great time having sex with people, just as long as you have no intention of being in a relationship with them. After all, what are friends with benefits for?
Usually, the problems arise when the heavy petting sets in. Hugs, hand caressing, and spooning could make a lithromantic's skin crawl.
5. You don't mind the single life
This trait may be a by-product of being self-assured and comfortable when you’re alone. But if being single has never really bothered you, it could be a sign of lithromanticism.
Often, it goes beyond simple self-confidence. For a lithromantic, there's likely never been a time in their life when they thought being with another person would be better than being single.
6. You have no interest in romantic relationships
Platonic relationships often mean the world to lithromantics and aromantics. But the moment any of these connections become remotely romantic, they might pull away.
Being a lithromantic doesn’t necessarily mean you hate being vulnerable and intimate with others. You've just never been into reciprocated romance, and that’s totally fine!
7. Sexual attraction can still occur
The average person might be confused to learn that a lithromantic can desire sexual relationships, but it's much more common than you'd think. Being aromantic is not the same as being asexual.
Physical attraction isn’t necessarily a precursor to romance, and no one feels this more strongly than lithromantics. These individuals can lead sexually fulfilling lives, even sleeping with primarily one person, without any interest in commitment.
8. You're not a fan of romance in general
If you're aromantic or lithromantic, it's not just the idea of experiencing romance that grosses you out; you may also roll your eyes when someone's talking about the butterflies they get when they see their new crush.
You're basically the exact opposite of the hopeless romantic. But this feeling doesn’t stem from learned cynicism toward relationships due to prior bad experiences. Lithromantics have always held genuine disinterest or distaste for committed relationships.
9. You're not big into talking about your feelings
Some lithromantics are fond of the concept of romance. It's the practice that becomes the problem. That's why many keep their thoughts and feelings about others a secret.
The aim of most lithromantics is to keep their object of affection in the dark about their feelings. Even the idea of expressing how they feel about someone to friends might make them want to curl up into a ball and hide from the world.
10. You feel emotionally unavailable
Because of the lack of lithromantic portrayal in the media, people might automatically assume you're not an emotionally available or mature person. And if you're told this enough, you might start believing it yourself.
But just because you can't relate to your friend's romantic relationships or don't like the idea of someone liking you doesn't mean you aren't emotional. It could simply mean you're lithromantic!
Finding yourself on the sexuality spectrum
Ever so slowly, society is beginning to understand that everyone is so much more than their labels. Not only that, but the labels we had before weren't serving us as well as we thought. Romantic and sexual orientations are becoming more personal — something we should embrace as a community.
That's why the emergence of terms like lithromantic is so vital to the LGBTQ community; it's a refreshing reminder that we should explore, question, and mold our sexualities. We should be free to express our most authentic selves at all times. That's always been our superpower.